Zebo expected to make Saracens trip


Rugby:Ireland international Simon Zebo is expected to be fit to take his place in the Munster side for next Sunday’s trip to Watford for the return fixture against Saracens. The wing went off with an ankle injury with six minutes remaining of Munster’s 15-9 success at Thomond Park on Saturday night but is expected to shake it off by the weekend.

Ronan O’Gara is reported to be showing no ill-effects from the back problem that made him doubtful for the Saracens game.

JJ Hanrahan was brought back from England where he was preparing for Munster A’s game against Rotherham as cover for O’Gara, but he was not required in the end as O’Gara kicked five penalties in an assured performance at outhalf.

A Munster spokesperson said: “Obviously, it wasn’t something we wanted to advertise but on Friday night you really couldn't see him (O’Gara) playing. And then it was a case of let’s see if he gets through the warm-up. For him then to go out and do what he did says it all about the character of the man."

There is further good news for Munster in the pack as backrowers Niall Ronan, Sean Dougall and Barry O’Mahony all return to full training this week after injury.

Tommy O'Donnell will also be re-integrated to squad training towards the end of this week though is thought unlikely to be in contention for a place in either the senior, or the A squad for their clash against Rotherham at Musgrave Park on Friday night. .

Another player who will miss that game is flanker Shane Buckley, who went off with an ankle injury at the end of the first half of the 36-21 victory over the Titans.

Munster are set to decide this week if Ireland international secondrow Paul O’Connell will undergo an operation on the back injury that has kept him out of action since October 21st.

There is a change of referee again for the game at Vicarage Road, with Jerome Garces taking over from fellow Frenchman Pascal Gauzère.

Gauzère was originally selected to referee the fixture, however, due to an injury to Romain Poite, he refereed last Saturday’s game. Gauzère will move to assistant referee for Sunday’s game.

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